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This 213 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 213 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2014
samwest




msg:4642091
 1:45 pm on Feb 3, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following 8 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4634995.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:01 am on Feb 4, 2014 (PST -8)


On February 2nd, our site experienced a huge drop in traffic. Anyone else see this? My first suspicion is that G figured out a way to collect as much Superbowl related traffic as possible. Our 10 years of traffic and sales records show no drops on previous Superbowl Sunday's. Looks like a big update was unleashed.

 

mike2010




msg:4643753
 8:51 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

The Google forums say that all non-google search engines just use their 1998 algorithm .

That's all they are to them...dust in the wind.

RedBar




msg:4643758
 9:16 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

The Google forums say that all non-google search engines just use their 1998 algorithm .


Ah, that would explain why Bing's results are so clean and fast without hardly any spam, well, not in my sector.

Awarn




msg:4643770
 10:48 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

The thing that is saving Google is their brand and the fact that people are adverse to change. Another factor is the average public are not real computer literate. Oh sure they can email, do a search on Google, look at Facebook etc. However how many truly search or even question the results. How many times do you hear "I googled that". The best thing Bing or another engine could do is get a goofy name (catchy so it is unusual) and really focus it toward the younger generation. Once it becomes a fad Google would be in trouble. That is basically the model Facebook used. Advertisers will go to the fad as well

EditorialGuy




msg:4643774
 10:58 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

The thing that is saving Google is their brand and the fact that people are adverse to change.


And yet they change to Google, even when Bing or Yahoo! is the default search engine.

What's more, a huge percentage of Windows users have changed their default browser from IE to Firefox or Chrome.

IMHO, the notion that people use Google Search because it's forced on them and they're too lazy to change isn't supported by the facts. (On the other hand, it may well be true that Google's brand is synonymous with "search," just as it is with "maps" these days, and brand loyalty isn't to be sniffed at when all other things are equal.)

deadsea




msg:4643780
 11:46 pm on Feb 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google did something on Friday February 7th at 8:00 AM EST that cost my site about 20% of traffic.

Here is the graph from Google Analytics (anonymous). It is an hourly graph from Friday, Saturday, Sunday (incomplete day) comparing traffic to the previous Fri, Sat, Sun.

[i.imgur.com...]

The comparison graphs usually line up perfectly for my site this way. Something specific happened on Friday.

Wilburforce




msg:4643783
 12:00 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

@deadsea

Thank you for bringing this back on topic!

Where are you based?

deadsea




msg:4643786
 12:28 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm east coast US, so the graph is in Eastern Standard Time.

My site has been hit by "too many ads above the fold", and Google has been launching more and more "one boxes" on keywords in my niche. Matt Cutts said that Google was planning another round of "too many ads" and I've been waiting for that shoe to drop.

Webmaster Tools only has keyword data through the 6th, so I don't have a good way of telling which keywords are the ones on which I lost ground.

RedBar




msg:4643787
 12:38 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

To me it was on topic, anything that happens and changes IS on topic, how many disparate postings are required?

If a posting within a thread is deemed to be important enough to be split-off, fine, but why try to keep the thread closeted?

Honestly, when/if you go to the pub do you leave a conflab and go talk to others or do you listen/learn/discuss all what is happening?

It infuriates me to hell at WebmasterWorld when posters, and mods, try to keep everything in one place...that's NOT how life, or the real world, exists. Anyone who is posting here should know that the Internet world is extremely fluid, if you do not then you are in totally the wrong business/place/industry.

Wilburforce




msg:4643789
 1:00 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't have a good way of telling which keywords are the ones on which I lost ground


From the graph, it looks like all of them. If - and I am not doubting your diagnosis - it is ads above the fold, then I would expect it to be site-wide (or, at least, page-based rather than term-based).

Let us know if WMT sheds more light on the question.

mike2010




msg:4643812
 4:40 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Unbelievable, that Google is all of a sudden more nitpicky over above the fold ads. Which used to be a requirement (and probably still is for many) with major ad networks.

Yet, the MOST annoying ads....the ones that me wanna punch holes in walls, they REWARD those sites. (those annoying videos where your FORCED to sit through a 30 second video Ad before the video you want to watch can play....with NO skip option)

Just seeing one of those, enrages me for like 2 days.

If Google had half a brain, they would PERM BAN any site that makes us sit through a 30 second video ad. We purchase DVR's for a reason....to NEVER have to sit through commercials anymore.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643832
 7:32 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Big drop in traffic from Google since friday. About 40%. All other sources remain steady.
It seems like a roll back to late december serps.
Out second unatended site has got a boost.

ecom, germnany

ohno




msg:4643845
 9:25 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

The Google forums say that all non-google search engines just use their 1998 algorithm .

That's all they are to them...dust in the wind.


Ah, that would explain why Bing's results are so clean and fast without hardly any spam, well, not in my sector.

Can't argue with that!

Honestly, when/if you go to the pub do you leave a conflab and go talk to others or do you listen/learn/discuss all what is happening?

It infuriates me to hell at WebmasterWorld when posters, and mods, try to keep everything in one place...that's NOT how life, or the real world, exists. Anyone who is posting here should know that the Internet world is extremely fluid, if you do not then you are in totally the wrong business/place/industry.

Couldn't agree more.

Back to the SERP's I'm seeing massive bias towards Amazon yet again. Image results are being thrown in for good measure to push organic below the fold. Traffic has been on a downward slope since Thursday.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643850
 9:50 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Ohno, yes

ebay/Amazon / Wikipedia
even some brands got killed.
In my vertical many new affiliate have been pushed to the top. Site with many spelling Errors Codepage errors, sites that copied the orginial manufacturer Navigation/Content.

ecom, germany

Mentat




msg:4643853
 9:57 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts announced a "German Spring cleaning"...

It's too quiet out there... @ plex. They are cooking a big one (Panda or Penguin)...

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643856
 10:03 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mentant, where dou you have this from?

celaning means, wipe out good Business and push bad sites? Is this correct?

EditorialGuy




msg:4643864
 12:30 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Martin Ice Web, what Matt Cutts actually said on Twitter was:

This week we took action on a German agency's link network/clients. More to come in Germany
https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/431581629933289472 [twitter.com]

[edited by: aakk9999 at 12:35 pm (utc) on Feb 10, 2014]
[edit reason] Added link [/edit]

ohno




msg:4643865
 12:43 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

More to come in Germany.

They did a hell of a lot more than what that tweet claims. Many have seen a drop that started Thursday.

More to come? Can't wait. Just stop #*$! around Cutt's & make page one eBay & Amazon.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643876
 1:31 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have to admit what ohno says. We donīt buy links or participate in any link networks but since this update we see massive movements to the bad. The must have changed something else. We donīt get any visitos from forums etc anymore. So all of them must have been penalized too.

EditorialGuy




msg:4643886
 2:18 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

When corruption is rooted out, ripple effects are inevitable.

Let's say that sites A, B, and C are part of a link network. Site D isn't, but it gets links from sites A, B, and C.

If links from sites A, B, and C lose their "link juice," site D will be affected.

So will site E (which has a link from Site D), and so on down the chain.

mike2010




msg:4643887
 2:23 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

"German Spring cleaning"


sounds a little racist, but i'll hush.

snickles121




msg:4643888
 2:26 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Im surpised there hasn't been a class action suit against Google yet. If you take all the time and money webmasters have spent trying to fix their websites for Google whom claimed that it will help restore their search results and nothing worked, it would add up to some serious cash.

In my opinion, Google should be held accountable for giving us all a lie to cover up their real intentions.

I waiting to see a class action lawsuit for some high priced lawyer on TV. When or if I do, ill be the first to sign up.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643889
 2:26 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

EG, i know that this is a rolling wave. But if so, than this adnetwork must have been very huge, this would make me ask: why dindīt get the plex get it before?
So i hope that this is similar to Panda updates, that serps will improve after roll out. Now serps are a mess.

It still does not explain why Ohno sees similar
, although located in UK, we are in Germany.

mrengine




msg:4643892
 2:38 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just stop #*$! around Cutt's & make page one eBay & Amazon.

It's been this way in the United States for a long time now, except for the retailers buying paid ads. I read an article in our local newspaper that briefly discussed the number of small businesses in the retail sector is declining. I believe this is how Google's policies manifest themselves in the broader economy, because they are so dominant, and the trends do not look good for mom & pops.

We donīt buy links or participate in any link networks but since this update we see massive movements to the bad.

If any of the sites that directly or indirectly link to your site with these network links, it's plausible that everything associated with those links would be demoted. However, many affiliate spammers link to Amazon, Ebay and other major sites that do not appear to get demoted. If anything, the big players have risen in the United States with every algorithm change Google has made. This leads me to believe there is a touch of a penalty being passed along to those websites that are also indirectly affiliated with network links and the major players enjoy immunity from these adverse effects because they are whitelisted.

ohno




msg:4643895
 2:49 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

When corruption is rooted out, ripple effects are inevitable.

Let's say that sites A, B, and C are part of a link network. Site D isn't, but it gets links from sites A, B, and C.

If links from sites A, B, and C lose their "link juice," site D will be affected.

So will site E (which has a link from Site D), and so on down the chain.

Of course that can certainly happen but that does not explain why Amazon & eBay always seem to rise to the top.

I guess it's all a big coincidence in the name of quality results...

EditorialGuy




msg:4643905
 3:08 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Of course that can certainly happen but that does not explain why Amazon & eBay always seem to rise to the top.


Amazon and eBay don't always rise to the top. But even if they did, it could easily be because they're tremendously popular sites with excellent user metrics and more than enough inbound links to withstand any "link juice" losses that might result from a cleanup of link networks.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4643908
 3:20 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

mrengine, i know that third pages could be affected. But serps are so bad, that it looks like every second site was in this network and be punished directly or indirectly.
Meanwhile is see ebay/amazon affiliates rise to the top.

ohno




msg:4643910
 3:27 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Amazon and eBay don't always rise to the top. But even if they did, it could easily be because they're tremendously popular sites with excellent user metrics and more than enough inbound links to withstand any "link juice" losses that might result from a cleanup of link networks.

Are you serious? I guess you don't sell online as if you did you wouldn't have even typed that.

Oh, & this sudden traffic drop is not related to some German network that Cutt's has tweeted about. Yet more smoke & mirrors from Google.

EditorialGuy




msg:4643914
 3:39 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh, & this sudden traffic drop is not related to some German network that Cutt's has tweeted about.


Maybe, or maybe not. But not everything is a conspiracy.

ohno




msg:4643916
 3:48 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

No, of course not. Google are such an open honest company aren't they.

Thursday traffic drops off cliff, SERP's fill with ads with massive bias towards eBay & Amazon.

Cutt's tweets about some German link network (we are UK).

No, there is no conspiracy, they openly push brands & eBay/Amazon to the top. The tweet is just more bull#*$! to try & confuse webmasters. I wonder how many have spent today checking for links that may be associated with this German link network to try & explain the drop...

ohno




msg:4643917
 4:07 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing loads of movement this afternoon for some terms. Forums seem to be popping up on page 1 & very thin DIY sites. Christ i didn't think the mess could get any worse but right now it's like they chucked the web index in the air & how it came down is how they are ranking! Totally random crap mixed in with some old forum posts with the usual brand bias at the top. All the good little sites are going down down down. My money would be on this is just the start & no where near over. Then again when did anyone have stable results for more than a week!

mrengine




msg:4643923
 5:03 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

But serps are so bad, that it looks like every second site was in this network and be punished directly or indirectly. Meanwhile is see ebay/amazon affiliates rise to the top.

I don't think there are any logical quality related explanations to why Amazon and Ebay rise to the top. It's a major frustration for smaller retailers. For example, a search I just performed had three Amazon placements above the fold - 1 paid and the two top organic positions. A Youtube video came in at #3 and the actual manufacturer in 4th. Positions #3+ were beneath the fold. Ebay was #5 and the rest of the listings were for national merchants like Sears. Page #2 of the search results had a mix of profile spammers (Facebook, Tumblr, Slideshare) and some other Wordpress powered websites. At least one of the sites I checked was a splog using what appears to be auto-generated gibberish. OK, I checked another site and the page is also using some sort of auto-generated gibberish. Looking at these two sites closer, they appear to only have a handful of links pointing to various pages on their domain and reside on recently registered domain names. Page #3 of the search results has an Amazon UK listing (I'm in the United States), an archive listing (archived copy of some page), a listing pointing to an IP address and more gibberish sites.

Nobody looking at what I am seeing would judge the results as having much to do with quality. Splogs popping up in the search results is nothing new. But there was a time when they were pushed back by smaller sites that were operated by people who had some sort of motivation/passion to produce topically relevant content. The small topical sites are gone in this search, for the most part, and that apparently makes it easier for the garbage to rise up as well. The garbage I'm talking about are pages that reside on new domains with few external links pointing to their sites. Therefore, I'd say the rankings are representative of who is the least punished behind Amazon who seems to benefit from being whitelisted, artificially boosted, brand weighted or whatever one wants to call the top search positions and domain crowding that they enjoy in Google across this and many other product queries.

I will say that the gibberish pages do not have the exact match three word keyphrase I searched for in their titles, meta or text. All the words from this keyphrase are reordered and used in a density that ranges from 3-13% per word. It appears how they are auto-generating and mixing their text is what is helping them avoid the punishment many others are coping with. For example, I searched for a "large red widget" and they ordered it "widget red large." To a human this would make no sense, but Google is giving them a lot of love.

The problem with penalizing websites that use exact match terms is that it deviates from how human beings ordinarily communicate. If that is why many of the small but quality topical sites are gone from my search query, I'd hate to see what it would take for them to recover. Judging by what I viewed, they might be able to recover by throwing all their text into a blender and posting it to their pages. Sad it is, but what other lesson is Google teaching us in this case?

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